HELP US FIGHT ELMBRIDGE BOROUGH COUNCIL TO KEEP OUR FRONT EXTENSION
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'A Casa' restaurant in Cobham is a small, independent, family run restaurant. It forms part of a group of independent and family run Italian restaurants in Cobham, Wimbledon and Putney. The restaurant is our livelihood, which we have worked tirelessly on to make a success since day one. We employ many local staff and due to our hard working team, we have gained a strong local and wider following. We have worked extremely hard and tirelessly at investing, regenerating and turning the restaurant around after multiple restaurant tenants and owners.
There has been a restaurant at the property since at least 1989, granted by Elmbridge Borough Council. Although, from the planning property history there may have been a restaurant at the site for longer as it is unclear exactly when a change of use occurred from small cinema permitted in the 1960's to a restaurant. There has been a front extensions or external frontal forecourt dinning at the site, since approximately 1990.
We applied for full planning permission for the front extension currently in place in 2015, which was refused due to the extensions citing on the front of the property. In addition, we applied for a certificate of lawfulness application in 2016 with extensive evidence, and this was also refused by the Council in 2017 under delegated powers. The full planning permission application, submitted by a different agent has been turned down at the appeal stage. Currently, we are in the process of appealing the certificate of lawfulness appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
There is no other way of extending the property, due to the citing of the kitchen at the rear of the building and a side vehicular access down the site of the property and historic car parking at the rear of the building. The front extension is small scale and only measures 12m2. The ground floor restaurant, including the restaurant and bar areas, kitchen, WC's and storage, excluding the front extension measures only approximately 291m2. This is considered to be on the small side for a restaurant. As such, the limited and small floor space of the restaurant without the extension makes it very difficult to run operably and viably.
The restaurant is 'unidentified' in the Elmbridge Local Development Framework. Therefore, it is not a listed building, located in a Conservation Area or located within an 'Article 4 Direction' area and such has minimal restrictions.
If we do not receive planning permission at appeal, we could be forced to take the extension down. We believe strongly that this is ridiculous and it will stifle creativity, enterprise and small businesses, instead of supporting and helping us thrive. However, we will fight our case and take it all the way but we need customer, community and public support behind us.
We pray that with the help of everyone signing this petition, together with the hard copy petition with 151 no. signatures and 5 letters of support, already submitted to the council under the most recent planning application and appeals, which we can continue on with the front extension. This would enable the restaurant to continue to prosper, not only for our business, but for our incredible staff, our loyal customers and for our community as a whole. Elmbridge Borough Council should allow us to continue to provide exactly the kind of vitality and vibrancy so vital to the ongoing prosperity of Cobham and the surrounding region.
We are hugely grateful to all those supporting us and signing this petition. If you wish to write in support of the application(s) and appeals it is also greatly appreciated and we welcome any additional letters of support which can be sent directly to the restaurant or by email. Please contact the restaurant by telephone for an email address.
Please also feel free to view our Tripadvisor page, should you wish to at the following link:-
Much love to all,
Today: Kate is counting on you
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